A Nebraska immigrant advocate calls the president’s plan to begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants a significant first step.
Darcy Tromanhauser with Nebraska Appleseed tells us that it doesn’t remove the urgent need for the Dream Act since this would not create a way for youth to apply for citizenship, but it’s an important first step.
“Talented youth, good students who have already contributed in so many ways to their communities and who know only this country as their home”, Tromanhauser says. “It’s nonsensical to be deporting them”.
Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry has a different view.
“What does this say to people who stood in line”, Fortenberry says. “People who are trying to obey the law, apply for immigration status for our country”.
Congressman Fortenberry says the president should have presented this first as a proposal to Congress.
Nebraska Republican U.S. Senator Mike Johanns says in a statement that the senate has rejected the DREAM ACT three times since 2007, and it’s unfortunate the president feels he can simply sidestep the legislative branch to essentially create law.
The policy announce by President Obama on Friday would apply to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before age 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years and have no criminal history.